Classification of cells and tissues
Raman Spectroscopy is a non-destructive technique, based on scattering of light by molecules. The sample under investigation is illuminated with low power laser light. In a Raman scattering event part of the energy of the incoming light is transferred to a molecule, thereby exciting one of the molecule's vibrational modes.
Beacuse every molecule contributes to the overall Raman spectrum of a cell or a tissue, the spectrum is in fact a direct representation of the overall molecular composition. As such the Raman spectra can be used as highly specific spectroscopic fingerprints, that enable identification or classification of cells and tissues.
Because the technique is non-destructive, and does not require sample preparation, nor reagents, dyes, labels or other contrast enhancing agents, it is perfectly suited for in vivo application. Measurements can be carried out in a matter of seconds or less.